Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chameleon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia” as Want to Read:
Chameleon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Chameleon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In 1964, at the age of three, Tim Bascom is thrust into a world of eucalyptus trees and stampeding baboons when his family moves from the Midwest to Ethiopia. The unflinchingly observant narrator of this memoir reveals his missionary parents' struggles in a sometimes hostile country. Sent reluctantly to boarding school in the capital, young Tim finds that beyond the gates...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published June 14th 2006 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chameleon Days, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Chameleon Days

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 182)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is a book about growing up in Ethiopia, but not really: far more than that it is about growing up in a missionary family in Ethiopia, which is a different beast altogether.

Very young when he moved there, the author lived in a mission house, went to an American-run boarding school, and had almost no interaction with native Ethiopians who were not connected to the mission or the school. I don’t fault Bascom for this — again, he was young — but it must have made for an upbringing both exotic a...more
These are the memories of the middle child of a couple who served as missionaries in Ethiopia in the 1960's. Tim was 3 years old when he first arrived. The book covers his parents' tours of 5 years, making him 8 years old at the book's end.

It's hard to imagine such an observant 3 year old, but, this is a child living in a highly insecure environment. A perfect metaphor occurs at the start when Tim and his older brother arrive on Ethiopian soil and run. Miraculously they stop at the edge of a cli...more
Jane Hoppe
Full of descriptions of simple, imaginative childhood games and the universal desire to belong, Chameleon Days resonates with me on several levels. Although young Tim Bascom’s games took place mostly in Ethiopia—a country I’ve never visited—as I read Bascom’s memoir, I found myself repeating, “Oh, yes, now I remember, my brother and I played that game, too.” And the young author’s feelings of separation came because he attended boarding school far from where his missionary parents were stationed...more
Tim Bascomb is the son of American missionaries, and, as a result, spent much of his childhood in Ethiopia in the 1960's.

Like the children of many former missionaries, he had to adapt and make adjustments to Western culture on his return to the United States. Unlike many that I've read about, he seems to have done a good job of adapting.

I also really like that he seems to be particularly clear-sighted about religion and about his past experiences. His views, on the whole seem very balanced, IMO....more
Pete Williamson
frankly, I had pretty high hopes for this autobiography of a child growing up in Haille Salassie's Ethiopia as the child of missionary parents, but I in the end I came away not really knowing much more about Ethiopia or what it was like to live there. I was hugely relieved that Bascom did not give us another Franky Schaeffer treatment of his growing up years.
Rachel N
Chameleon Days provides a view of Ethiopia through the eyes of a western child (in the 1970s). It is a well written memoir touched with sadness, and a vulnerable account of the challenges field-missionaries face.
Beautifully written. The memoir offers a reflection on the missionary experience as a child-in-tow. Without pretension or agenda, Mr Bascom maintains a child's innocence while deftly weaving reflection throughout.
This one almost rated 4 stars. Hey, it did earn the the "Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize". It is the story of a young boy as his family serves as missionaries in Ethiopia.
May 03, 2008 Corey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Corey by: Claudia Brown
Shelves: read-in-2006
This was my first contextual introduction to Ethiopia, where I moved in September 2006. In the year and a half I've lived here, I've come to appreciate and understand this book even more.
Saturday's Child
A well written and facinating account of a childhood spent in the wonderful country of Ethiopia. It really wet my appetite for travel to Ethiopia.
An interesting look at Ethiopia as seen from a young boy's eyes while his parents were missionaries in the country during the 1960s.
Benjamin Taddesse
Benjamin Taddesse marked it as to-read
Oct 04, 2014
Jesse W.
Jesse W. marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2014
Julian Patton
Julian Patton marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2014
Amanda Kruckenberg
Amanda Kruckenberg marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2014
Sara marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2014
Abigail marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2014
Hilary marked it as to-read
Jul 31, 2014
Glen added it
Aug 22, 2014
Zaïuka Derolex
Zaïuka Derolex marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
Leah marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2014
Courtney marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2014
Lily Amb
Lily Amb marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2014
Melinda marked it as to-read
May 12, 2014
Elham marked it as to-read
May 12, 2014
Moira Mcglynn
Moira Mcglynn marked it as to-read
May 11, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Squatters' Rites The Comfort Trap: Spiritual Dangers of the Convenience Culture Running to the Fire: An American Missionary Comes of Age in Revolutionary Ethiopia The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 3 Law and Disorder: Stories of Conflict and Crime

Share This Book